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Question on Matco nose wheel

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I installed a Matco nose wheel some time ago and I am putting a new tire on it.  After taking the wheel apart, I'm wondering if there should be a spacer on the axle inside the wheel, between the bearings?  I'm thinking a spacer should be there to keep the side loads off the bearings when the axle nut is tightened.  I have tried to find information on the assembly but can't find anything.  I know if I tighten the axle nut it will start to bind up the wheel bearings so I don't put a lot of torque on the nut when I tighten this.  Makes me think there should be a spacer.  If you have any thoughts, please let me know.

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The Matco nose wheel has no spacer. Just tighten and go. The Marc front wheel does have a spacer due to its design.

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Hi Roger.  I see your reply to my email.  Thanks!  As you mentioned, the old Marc nose wheel did have a spacer.  Since the Matco nose wheel also has sealed ball bearings same as the Marc wheel, I'm thinking a spacer would be good to have to prevent side loading the ball bearing when the axle is torqued.  Matco has been doing this for a long time and must know what's best.

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Ok Roger, educate us.

If the outer bearing races are fixed, as is normal, and one tightens the axle against the inner races without a spacer, the bearings will be easily overloaded and fail rapidly! So what are we missing? Does anyone have a assembly sectional drawing?

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Yes, as Roger says -  Matco provides spacers to go between wheel and fork.  I've looked at the assembly drawing.  No spacer shown between the bearings. There is a spacer between the bearings on the Marc wheel.  With the front end supported and off the ground, I can control the amount of free spin of the wheel, depending on how much torque I give to the axle nut.  With a lot of torque, I can put enough side load on the bearings to keep the wheel from turning.  As LSBruce points out, this side load can cause bearing failure.  The Matco wheel is a strong cast wheel and probably doesn't flex like the thin stamped Marc wheel and the bearings are large.  This design is OK with light side loading.  I will go with my current procedure of: "tighten the axle nut to the point where it is takes up all axial movement but short of binding the bearings".  I'm guessing this is what Matco intended?

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"I will go with my current procedure of: "tighten the axle nut to the point where it is takes up all axial movement but short of binding the bearings".  I'm guessing this is what Matco intended?"

Yes. The axle nut should be tight, but if you're cranking it down to the point of impairment then don't use the Godzilla torque. Bring it back to human torque. LOL

The Marc wheels are a stamped flimsy wheel and will bend and have a different design.

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Since the matco front wheels are deep groove ball bearings, I am in agreement with roger. They can take some sideload, being ball bearings, but too much will accelerate wear on the sides of the races.

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Thanks Roger and Corey for verifying going easy on the toque is correct.  Much easier than trying to fit correct length spacer inside the wheel.  Just got the new Desser tire. Looks very different than the standard 400-6.  Going to install new bearings and the new tire.  I hate installing the tire/tube on the Matco flat rims.  Always worried about pinching the tube.  I do clamp the tires to keep the beads together to hold the tube off the rim but still........it's a PITA!  My order says tire was checked for roundness and balance but no marks on tire to indicate where to line up with valve stem.  Also no "chevron" on my Matco wheel for line up with valve hole.  I put the rim on the balancer and found the wheel heavy spot which I'll set 180 opposite where the valve is located.  Painted my own chevron showing where the rims line up

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I've now got over 3 hours with lots of landings.  The tire that Desser sent to me is very round and based on the balance of the assembly I did, it has virtually no imbalance.  The two quarter ounce weights were 180 opposite the valve stem.  It is a very stiff tire.  A big change from the old Aero Classic.  I inflated it to 35psi to make sure it was well seated in the rim.   All tar strips and runway imperfections are felt.  I will probably reduce the pressure to 32psi (or more) to see if this reduces some of the harsh ride.  I almost believe that in the event of getting a puncture out in the bush, this could be run with no air pressure and the tire would still be OK, except it would probably turn on the rim and pull the valve stem.  Ideally, this design in a 6 or even a 4 ply tire would be best for our CT's but is not offered.  I forgot to weigh the tire before mounting it.  I estimate it weighs at least one pound more than the standard tire.  The tire I received is accurate for roundness and balance, the rubber composition looks to be tough and IMHO I think it's good looking.  (Uh, oh, I'm going to get flamed like Ed did with that last comment!)

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I agree this is a very stiff tire! I had them on my CTLS mains for a few months. I finally took them off and changed back to the 6 ply. They were so stiff I felt every bump and crack transmit thru the gear legs. Nearly impossible to make a nice smooth landing. I tried them at various pressures from 35 to 22.

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Hey Dick, it’s way too cold around the lake for me! My trusty CT migrates every October to Florida (7FL6) she returns in May. Yes, let’s do another CT fly in to Put-in-Bay island this summer.

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If you’d like to make it an even half dozen, let me know when you’ll be going. Phil Wade would make 7.  It’ll look like an invasion. 

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